University of Rochester warns of potential ‘pause’ as COVID-19 cases surge

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, .N.Y (WROC) — The University of Rochester sent out an email Tuesday warning students, faculty and staff that a recent surge in cases could potentially lead to a “pause” if things don’t improve soon.

According to the email, the number of positive cases among students in the past two weeks is as much as the totals from the first two months of the fall semester, and the rate at which exposures turn into positive cases is much higher.

The pause could go into effect on River Campus and/or the Eastman School of Music if 100 or more cases emerge among students, faculty and staff within a two-week time period.

In the event that this happens, the pause would include shifting in-person courses to an online format, dining services offering Grab-and-Go meals only with assigned times for students to pick up their food, and student life becoming restricted to residence halls until the case number stays below 100 for at least two weeks.

Daniel Lee and Lillian Altonen are sophomores at the UR. They both said they’d seen the rising cases on the college’s COVID-19 dashboard.

“We’re doing a lot worse than last semester so it’s kind of concerning in terms of how fast the COVID cases are going up and we might have a repeat of two semesters ago,” Lee said.

“There’s no need to gather in big groups to do stuff like that, we have access to all the necessary tools to be virtual so there’s no reason to expose yourself to other people,” Altonen said.

Bradley Martin is a junior at the UR. He said he’s confident students will come together to slow the spread, even when it’s hard.

“I know it’s very tempting, myself included, where you’re back on campus you haven’t seen your friends in months and you just want to go and hang out, but the rules are in place for a reason,” Martin said.

The university said they sent the email to alert students, faculty and staff that COVID-19 protocols need to be closely adhered to.

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